People complain that the NBA All-Star Game lacks drama. The tournament only guarantees that the previous match will be dramatic.
NBA has changed its traditional East and West All-Star format in 2017. Instead of dividing players by geography, the people who voted the most in each conference will start the draft and reserve themselves.
Previously, the draft took place on TNT, with “Inside The NBA” observing, evaluating, and criticizing.
And sometimes there’s drama, often based on captains and their former teammates: LeBron James with Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Durant and James Harden last year.
Days after Harden was forced to trade with Durant’s Brooklyn Nets, Durant went on to draft The Beard seven different times, placing him on Team LeBron.
But while the draft did deliver moments of lightness – like when Giannis Antetokounmpo accused James of “faking” – the league seemed to want a more head-to-head confrontation.
Based on the fifth round of fan voting, it looks like James and Antetokounmpo will be captains again, although Durant is only slightly behind the Greek Monsters by 100,000 votes.
As the leader in total votes, James may have to choose between teammate Anthony Davis, old and future teammates Kyrie Irving, or rivals Durant and Steph Curry. If James didn’t pick AD, he’d have to look Davis in the eye or eyebrow when he did.
Durant still hopes to return from a knee injury in time to participate in the All-Star Game.
It’s a sign that the NBA is always ready to test All-Star Weekend, like when they introduce a new league. Format “End of Elam” in 2020, where the teams compete with the target score in the final inning.
This addresses concerns about the show’s competitiveness, which is already known for its defensive moves.
Who does it hurt? The players were selected last in each round, in front of their fellow All-Stars and an international television audience.
Our advice? Start attracting LeBron and Giannis now. Telling James how much you like “Space Jam: Legacy” or that you’re thinking of opening a Blaze Pizza franchise could be the difference between being picked in fourth or last place.